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Sunday, November 20, 2011
Wrap-up: Raiders 27, Vikings 21

By Kevin Seifert

A few thoughts on Sunday's festivities at the Metrodome:

What it means: The Minnesota Vikings dropped to 2-8, tied for the second-worst record in the NFL, amid a gloomy first-half performance and a second-half surge that fell short as they lost 27-21 to the Oakland Raiders. Soon it will be time to start projecting the Vikings' draft position. As of this moment, it would be no worse than No. 4 overall.

PetersonWatch: Tailback Adrian Peterson didn't return after a scary injury to his left ankle, but X-rays showed no fracture, according to coach Leslie Frazier. Peterson is expected to undergo an MRI on Monday. It's impossible to overstate what the loss of their best player, even for a game, would mean to the Vikings. For now, their backup running backs are Toby Gerhart (24 carries this season) and Lorenzo Booker (four).

Mistakeball: Left tackle Charlie Johnson jumped offsides on the first play from scrimmage. Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder threw three interceptions, including one in the end zone and one near the goal line. The field-goal team botched placement of a 49-yard attempt. Booker lost a fumble on a kickoff return. That litany of mistakes, among others, dug a hole far too deep. That extended an embarrassing stretch of getting outscored 72-14 between the start of their Week 10 loss at the Green Bay Packers and the fourth quarter of Sunday's game.

Pass protection: Ponder had a shaky performance but faced a heavy rush for the second consecutive week. He scrambled for 71 yards on five carries, a good way to limit opposing blitzes, but at some point you need to have time to make plays in the pocket. The Raiders had five sacks. Offensive line has already emerged as one of the Vikings' top priorities for this offseason.

What's next: The Vikings travel to the Georgia Dome next Sunday to play the Atlanta Falcons.